Sergeant Vernon E. Carlson, of the 303rd Bomb Group, paints the nose art of a B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed "Holy Mackeral". Passed for publication 16 Dec 1942. Printed caption on reverse: '"Everything under control" is the optimistic message sent by Sgt. Vernon E. Carlson of the Air Corps, whose home is at 1431 N. Mayfield Ave, Chicago. He used to be with the Goetz Elevator Co. He is 29 and unmarried. O.P.S. shows him painting "Holy Mackerel" on a plane.' On reverse: Current Affairs Ltd, US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps].
B-17F 41-24609 'Holy Mackerel' assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-Q] Bangor 3-Oct-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42. On 23-Nov-43 the aircraft flown by Maj. George L. Robinson was the lead aircraft of the 303BG formation in the attack on the U-Boat Pens at St. Nazaire, France on the 4th mission for the Group. The aircraft was damaged by flak and the Navigator, Capt Harold Fulghum, thinking that the flak had killed the pilot, baled out of the aircraft and was taken Prisoner. No MACR issued.
On 4-Apr-43 the aircraft was declared Missing in Action on a mission to bomb the Renault Armament Works at Paris, France. Shot down by enemy aircraft and crashed at Bocasse, 12 miles N of Rouen, France. 6KIA 4POW MACR 15069
P 1Lt Ercil F. Eyster (KIA) CP 2Lt Fred H. Hayward (KIA)
N 2Lt John D. Shanks (KIA); B/TOG SSgt Marcus K. Davis (POW)
E/TTG TSgt Harold J Dunham (KIA); RO Sgt Edmund R. Thornton (POW)
BTG Eugene A. B. Nicosia (KIA); LWG Sgt George T. Morton (POW)
RWG SSgt Robert C. Alizer (POW); TG SSgt Floyd E. Bauer (KIA)
The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...
Military | Technical Sergeant | Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
Orginally assigned with the 92BG at Bovingdon, UK as an Aerial Gunner with the rank of Sergeant. He flew his first mission (and the only one with the 92BG) on 21-Oct-42.
Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
Shot down 4 April 1943 in B-17 41-24609 'Holy Mackerel'. Killed in Action (KIA).
Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
28-Feb-42 Assigned as Navigator of B-17F #41-24565 [BN-P] "Idaho Potato Peeler Kids", 303BG/359BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 25-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Idaho Potato Peeler Kids"
Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
15-Sep-42 assigned to B-17F #41-24609 [BN-Q] "Holy Mackerel", 303BG/359BS at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas and arrived aboard that aircraft at Molesworth, UK on 22-Oct-42. Mission participation (See Biography events - UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier, Enlisted | 303rd Bomb Group
Military | Captain | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
2-Aug-42 Assigned as a Bombardier on B-17F #41-24619 [GN-S] "S-for-Sugar" at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas. 25-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "S-for-Sugar" but there is no record that he flew any missions with that aircraft. 303BG Mission Report...
Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-17F #42-5243 "FDR's Potato Peeler Kids", 303BG/359BS. Battle damaged aircraft crashed into North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 15593
Mission participation (UNDER CONSTRUCTION) See Biography events.
Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
24-Jun-42 Assigned as Navigator of B-17F #41-24561 [BN-T] "The Dutchess", 303BG/359BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "the Dutchess".
23 November 1942
The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) for this mission. A combined force of 50 B-17s despatched from 91BG (10), 303BG (12), 305BG (20) and 306BG (8) to attack this target. 91BG is not able to put any of their group on the target,...
4 April 1943
The Renault armament and motor works at Paris, France are the primary target of this mission. 97 B-17s are despached: 91BG (26); 303BG (23); 305BG (18); and 306BG (30). 85 of the 97 despatched are effective on the target. Fighter resistance is heavy...
Military site : airfield
Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...
|Failed to Return (FTR)
||Le Bocasse, France
||4 April 1943
Shot down by enemy aircraft, crashed at Bocasse, France